Table 2: Different "Soil"--"Underclays" in the Joggins Division 4 Coals:
Source: Dawson; 1853-4, Q. J. Geol. Soc. Lon. V. 10, pp. 3-6; and Dawson, 1855,  Acadian Geology, pp. 129-135.
See also Dawson, 1868,  Acadian Geology, pp. 162-167.

 Coal
 Group
 Bituminous
  Limestone
  Sandstone
    (Gray)
 Argillaceous
  Sandstones
 Arenaceous
 "Underclay"
   Shales   Underclay  Various
   Other
     1     1: w/ rootlets
 of Stigmaria
   1: w/ Stools
  of  Stigm. and
  an erect stump
 1: w/ Rootlets  1: Sandstone
 and Shale, irreg.
 bedded, One bed
 w/ Stigm. rootlets
     2   1 w/ rootlets
 of  Stigmaria
 1: w/ Stigmaria
  roots
 2: 1 w/ rootlets
  of Stigm., and
  1 w/ indistinct
  rootlets
     3  1: w/ Rootlets
     4  1: w/ Stigm.
  rootlets
     5  2: each w/
  Stigm. rootlets
 2: each w/
  Stigm.  rootlets
     6  1: w/ Rootlets  2: 1 w/ rootlets
 of Stigm.,  1 w/
 Roots and
 rootlets
of
 Stigm. This bed
 forms the roof
 of a coal.
     7  1: Sandstone
 (w/clay parting);
 w/ Stigm. rootlets
 and prostrate
 Sigillaria above
 the clay parting
 1: w/ Stools
 and rootlets
of
 Stigmaria
 3: 1 "Shale or
 underclay"
; w/ No 
 roots or  rootlets;

 1 w/ Roots and
 rootlets
of erect 
 stumps; and 1 w/
 leaves;* erect tree,
 and Stigm. rootlets.
 1: w/ Rootlets
 of Stigm. and
 carbonized
 plants
 3: "Underclay and
 shale with bands of
 sandstone," 
w/ rootlets
 
( p.172).
 "Sandstone
 and Clay,"
  w/ Stigm.
 Stools;  1 (alternating
 Sandstones and shales)
 w/ Stigm. stools
     8  1: w/ leaves* in
 upper part, erect
 stumps in lower
 part. No roots or
 rootlets
 1: w/ Rootlets  1: 'Underclay, black,
 bituminous, resting on hard arenaceous
 understone,"
  w/ Stools and rootlets of  Stigm.
     9  1:  w/
 Rootlets
 and coaly
 matter
 1: "Underclay and
 shale,"
w/ Stigmaria,
 small erect stems or
 roots,
and coaly layers
    10  3: w/ Stigmaria
 rootlets
    11  1: 1 w/ Stigm.
 roots and an erect
 stump
 1: w/ Roots
 and rootlets

 of Stigmaria
    12  1:
 "Understone"
 
 w/ rootlets of
  Stigmaria
 2: w/ Sigillaria,
 leaves,* and
 Stigm. rootlets
 1: No roots
 or rootlets

 

Table 2.1

 Coal
 Group
 Bituminous
  Limestone
  Sandstone
    (Gray)
 Argillaceous
  Sandstones
 Arenaceous
 "Underclay"
   Shales   Underclay  Various
   Other
 Totals          1:
 
w/ Rootlets
 of  Stigmaria
        8:
  w/ Stigmaria
 rootlets in each
          2:
 1 w/ Stigm. roots
 1 w/ Stigm.
   stools and
   rootlets
        3:
 
1 w/ Stigm.
    stools;
 2: w/ Stigm.
     rootlets
         7:
 
1 w/ Roots and
    rootlets
of
    erect stumps
 3 w/ leaves* and
    Stigm. rootlets
 1 w/ Stigm. roots
 2 w/ No roots or
    rootlets
(one of
    which had
    leaves)*
        13:
 
9 w/ Rootlets
 (or  Rootlets of
     Stigmaria)
1 w/ Indistinct
    rootlets 
2
w/ Roots and
     rootlets
of
     Stigmaria
  1 w/ No roots
      or  rootlets
  6:
 
2 w/ Rootlets
    (or Stigm. rootlets)
 2 w/ Stigm. stools
 1 w/ Stigmaria
    (roots)
 1 w/ Stigmaria stools
     and rootlets

Notes:  Not all of the above beds qualify as "underclays", for many of them do not underlie a seam of coal or carbonaceous material, but rather are surrounded by shale or sandstone.  And according to Logan (who also measured this section), few if any, are composed of clay.

Of the 24 coals, coaly shales, and carbonaceous shales that Dawson records in this section, only 19 have anything that remotely resembles a "soil/underclay" beneath them.  Only one of these is listed in the table above since it was the only one that Dawson said was an ancient soil; however, he said it contained  Poacite (leaves) rather than Stigmaria.  In this regard, Logan also lists at least two coals in this section that do not have "underclays" (with roots and/or rootlets) beneath them.  Duff and Walton 1 also list three coals in the Joggins Formation that do not have an underclay (seat-earth) beneath them.

The bituminous limestone of coal group 2 is not mentioned by Logan.  It also is not mentioned by Dawson in his (1868) sequel of Acadian Geology; however, it is in the 1855 edition and in his 1853 paper.  It not only has rootlets of Stigmaria, but also shells of Modiola, Cypris (later called Cythere, and today known as Ostracodes).  We are also told that an erect tree is  "rooted" in it. 

 

Discussion:

From the table above there are 26 beds that contain only rootlets.  In addition, there are 3 with no (mention of any) roots at all, and 5 that have roots or stools (i.e. large roots) but no rootlets.  If we include the 4 (other) beds beneath coals that were not claimed (by Dawson) to be underclays, then we have a total of 38 out of 44 beds with either no roots at all, or which contain only roots or rootlets.  Only 5 beds are listed that contain both roots and rootlets; none are said to contain roots with rootlets, or roots with attached rootlets.  One of the five is said to have roots and rootlets of erect stumps, so it is probable that such rootlets were attached; however, this shale is immediately above a coal rather than below one.  Therefore, out of 44 possible soils, only 3 contain both roots and rootlets that are also situated beneath a coal.  When we take into account Dawson's eagerness to prove that the coals were formed in place, it is fairly safe to say that if any of these "soils" contained roots with attached rootlets, he would have eagerly said so.  However, since he didn't, then to say that such beds represent in situ deposits is questionable.

References:

1. Duff, P. McL. D., and Walton, E. K., 1973, "Carboniferous Sediments at Joggins,
    Nova Scotia," In: Septieme Congres International de Stratigraphie et de Geologie
    du Carbonifere; Compte Rendu; 7; 2, pp. 355-379, See p. 367, Fig. 2. 
    Note:  Congres International de Stratigraphie et de Geologie du Carbonifere =
    International Congress on Carboniferous Stratigraphy and Geology.